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Reply #33: As others said upthread, this is actually about net neutrality. [View All]

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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #24
33. As others said upthread, this is actually about net neutrality.
The FCC wants to keep companies like Comcast from giving Comcast subscribers' data transfers preferred access to the parts of the internet Comcast 'owns' (the networks they bought or built, their websites, etc). What Comcast and other big players want to do is make sure they can give subscribers faster speeds for Comcast content, for example, or (pure speculation follows) put an ad that generates revenue for them in front of every video feed a subscriber views that doesn't come from Comcast. Something else they'd probably like to do is rootkit into your PC a popup adbox that activates every time your data request (say, a website) gets routed through their network. They'd certainly want to slow your data down and give their own subscribers preferred treatment.

Things like that. The big players also want to be able to throttle users who engage in high data transfers (several gigabytes at a time, for example). That and that alone would be utterly devastating; there are many people who perform system updates in that size range, and online product distribution systems like Valve Software's very very popular Steam platform would become crippled fairly quickly.

Imagine the following scenario:

You are a subscriber of Company X, and the networks of the only two "players" in your region (say, Comcast and Charter) happen to surround yours geographically. Company X is a "lilypad" in a big pond. Your YouTube request will be at your maximum subscribed speed on Company X's network, but as soon as it got routed into Charter or Comcast's network, it would get slowed down. Maybe they would even queue your request, delaying it until their subscribers' requests were satisfied, and then passing on yours only at a slower speed while it's on their network. Now imagine all the corporate property not owned by Company X that sits between you and your YouTube video. Suddenly your request is subject to multiple "preference policies" both coming and going, as is the data that makes up the YouTube video itself.

This is how you make YouTube, and Hulu, and even our own DU less usable. This is what the FCC wants to avoid.

Until we mandate that all players in the industry update the networks they own to fiber, and put in place a truly massive program to lay fiber-optic cable coast to coast in an internet 2.0 version of the Transcontinental Railroad, we will continue to hear these companies piss and moan about some users' high data transfer/bandwidth usage, and they will continue to try to squeeze.
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